Window Switch Buyer's Guide
- A window switch is considered the main component of your power window system which is responsible for making a car window roll up and down.
- There are three types of window switch: Push-pull switch, Toggle Switch, Rocker Switch.
- Having a malfunctioning window switch can be both uncomfortable and risky. It poses danger, especially if you have a child on board with you.
- Prevent any window-related accidents by replacing your faulty window switch with the right type for your vehicle.
- Parts are usually priced between $226 to $291.
- With the right tools and know-how, you can replace your faulty window switch on your own.
What is a window switch?
A window switch is considered to be the main component of your power window system. These control switches are responsible for rolling your window up or down with ease. When pressed, the switch sends an electric current to the power window motor located in the door panel. This will make the glass to roll up and down depending on the type of window switch installed in your vehicle.
Usually, the system has a master window switch that controls all the power windows in your vehicle. You can find the master switch typically on the driver’s door. The rest of the doors, on the other hand,have individual switches for their window. The front passenger door, for example, has a different switch as the rear but each can be controlled separately.
What are the different types of window switch?
There are three types of power window switch available in the market today. The basic types are:
This type of switch is usually found in luxury vehicles such as Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, and Jaguar. Push-pull switches have recently been found in less expensive models as standard. To make this switch work, you have to stick your finger under the switch and pull it up to roll the window up. To roll the window down, simply press the switch down.
The push-pull type of switch costs more than the other items in this list but it is highly recommended to avoid window-related accidents. The design makes it quite difficult for a person or a child to accidentally trigger the switch. It usually comes with a lock mechanism.
A toggle switch is built with a lever that functions as the switch’s handle. The switch works by pushing or pulling the lever to control the window’s movement. The lever triggers an electric current to the window motor. This is the simplest kind of switch available on the market today. This type of switch is usually found in Chevrolet/GMC, Saturn, Ford, and Pontiac cars.
The toggle switch is less expensive compared to other window switches available but just like the others, it has limitations. Take note, the toggle switch has no locking mechanism, which makes it accident prone especially if you have children on board.
A rocker switch is similar to any on and off switch we can find in our homes. You just press the switch to roll the windows up or down. Pressing the switch triggers an electric current to the window motor, which then causes the glass to move.
This kind of switch is also child-friendly because it typically comes with a locking mechanism.
What is a window switch made of?
A window switch is usually made of plastic or polymer, and comes in conservative colors that are usually in shades of black, grey, tan, white or chrome.
Importance of a window switch
It is important to check the condition of your car’s window switch assembly from time to time. People tend to take the car’s window switch for granted and having a malfunctioning window switch can be both uncomfortable and risky. Aside from the risk of having to drive with a stuck car window, you’re also at greater risk of theft if you leave your windows half-open especially in a parking lot. To add to all these, having a faulty window switch poses a danger especially when you have children on board with you.
Prevent any window-related accidents by replacing your faulty window switch with the right type for your vehicle.
How much is a window switch replacement?
OE replacement power window switches are priced between $226 and $291. The price range for a window switch varies depending on the material and type of switch. It also depends on the year, make, and model of your car.
A window switch can be sold individually but also comes in sets of two, three, or four. A complete window switch kit includes the installation wiring harness for easy installation. Although there are self-help articles available online about power window switch replacement, it is recommended to hire a trusted mechanic to install it for you.
How to replace a faulty window switch
A power window system allows you to roll your windows up and down with ease. A window switch activates this mechanism to control the movement of your vehicle's windows. To change the window circuit's direction, the switch sends out a signal to the power window motor located inside the car door. This enables the window glasses to go up or down, depending on your preference. At some point, the window switches will get worn out due to frequent use. Moisture and debris may cause switch failure, and the contacts inside this part may break down as well. Replace faulty switches right away for safety and proper window operation. Here are the tools you'll need and the steps in replacing a faulty window switch:
Difficulty level: Moderate
- Screwdriver (may be flat-head, Phillips-head, or snub-nosed)
- Long-nose pliers
Step 1: Disconnect the negative battery terminal before working on the switch to prevent short circuit. Remove the car door panel to gain access to the switch. Disconnect all other electric wiring first, including wires for stereo speakers and power mirrors. Next, unclip the handles using a screwdriver. Lift the faulty switch out of its harness.
Step 2: If you don't want to take off the door casing or the door handle, simply slide a flat-head screwdriver under the switch bezel and pry it until it loosens to access the housing.
Step 3: Once the switch pops out of the bezel, disconnect it from the wire harness and detach it from the outlet. Remove the rockers before inserting a new switch into the harness holes.
Step 4: Assemble the rockers into the new switch and snap the device into the bezel. Turn the engine on and see if the switch moves the windows in the proper direction. If it does, press it firmly and reconnect all wiring harness. Screw the door panel and handle back in place.